Are you trying to get pregnant? Are you having scheduled sex with your partner? Are you getting rid of your birth control? Are you keeping track of your periods? If the answer to all the questions mentioned here is yes, then you should take stock of your preconception health.
Several couples worldwide face the problem of infertility. Making changes to your lifestyle and getting some inside knowledge on infertility will help you conceive.
The reproductive life of a woman begins when she encounters a period for the first time, which happens typically at the age of 12, and carries on until the age of 50.
But, since the egg count and quality declines with age, women do not continue to be fertile for the whole reproductive period.
Age impacts negatively on a woman’s ability to become pregnant. It is one of the most important factors affecting fertility.
Male infertility is mainly due to low sperm production, blockages that stop sperm delivery or abnormal sperm function.
Often, men find it difficult to talk about this subject and several studies clearly show that only 20% of the men struggling to conceive make infertility-related visits to a doctor.
There are many infertility clinics that offer treatment or assisted reproductive techniques such as in-vitro fertilization.
Fertility and its Relationship with Age
Men’s age also impacts pregnancy. Infertility among men often starts at the age of 45. This is the period when the quality of sperm drops. As a man grows older, their chances of conceiving also reduce, time to pregnancy also gets prolonged and the danger of miscarriage and fetal death.
For couples who wish to become parents, it is important to understand how age may affect the chances of pregnancy. Couple must visit a fertility expert or a family planning centre and share their thoughts with them about having kids.
The Relationship Between Fertility and Women’s Age
Women are born with all their eggs, but with time these eggs decline in quality and quantity. Age is a major factor that impacts women’s fertility negatively.
If you maintain good health, you will enhance your chances of becoming pregnant, but it does not outweigh the consequences of age on their fertility.
Women above 40 have a better chance of becoming pregnant if they use younger women’s eggs. The danger of stillbirth, pregnancy complications, and miscarriage also goes up with age.
How is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
To find out whether male infertility is a factor in the inability to conceive, a general examination and analysis of the semen will be done.
During this test, a doctor will examine your medical history, assess your present health condition and perform an external check of your genitals. You will also have to provide a semen sample.
Your sperm will be tested for number, shape, and motility and it will also be tested for any infections. Some additional tests include chromosomal testing, hormonal testing, and ultrasounds.
Fertility Treatment for Men
Male infertility treatment will be carried out based on the cause of infertility. Several male infertility problems can be fixed with surgery or drugs. This would let you conceive through normal sexual intercourse. The treatments below can be categorized into three categories:
- Treatment for unidentified causes of male infertility
- Surgical treatment for male infertility
- Non-surgical treatment for male infertility
Infertility treatment like Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as IVF and IUI can help reverse the effects of infertility.
However, if no major issue is identified by the fertility expert, it can be brought under control by making lifestyle changes, taking supplements, and a proper diet.
How IVF Works- A Step-by-Step Procedure
A man produces a semen sample so that the healthiest sperm can be selected for fertilization. If the man is infertile a donor’s semen is taken.
The IVF process consists of the following stages:
1. Fertility Medication
Before starting the process, the woman will receive fertility medication and given injections to stimulate the ovaries to help her produce multiple eggs. The medication is given for 8 to 10 days.
2. Follicle Aspiration
In this step, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the woman’s vagina to view follicles.
Each follicle is a fluid-filled sac that contains an egg. A long needle is inserted up to the ovaries that pull the eggs from the follicles with the help of a suction device.
These collected eggs are immediately taken to the laboratory and fertilized. This process of fertilization is performed by insemination where several sperms are mixed with the healthiest egg.
There is another way to directly fertilize eggs during the process of intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The fertilized eggs are closely monitored for a few days as they start growing.
Some embryos are transferred, and the remaining are frozen and stored for use in the future if the need arises.
4. Transferring the Embryo
This is done two to five days after fertilization. A syringe is loaded with fluid containing one or more embryos and inserted into the uterus via the vagina.
Infertility treatment can be traumatic, both on individuals and on the relationship, and it can exacerbate fertility issues.
You must talk about it openly and have the willingness to invest emotionally and financially into the whole process. If you are trying to get pregnant without any success, then you must for infertility treatment.